ISLAMABAD: Amid the ongoing debate over the introduction of the presidential system in Pakistan, the Senate on Monday passed a resolution to throw its weight behind the parliamentary form of government, resolving to “preserve and protect the parliamentary form of government envisaged in the 1973 constitution, because any other form of government will have disastrous consequences for the federation.
Proposed by nine opposition senators, the resolution said a systematic campaign in a section of the media and social media was being waged to undermine the federal parliamentary form of government.
Through the resolution, the Senate learned that “such a campaign propagates a presidential form of government – the founder of the Quaid-e-Azam Nation Muhammad Ali Jinnah envisioned a federal parliamentary form of government as his vision. for Pakistan”.
The resolution recalls that the people of Pakistan “have struggled and sacrificed tirelessly for a form of federal parliamentary government….., the independence of the judiciary, provincial autonomy and the fundamental rights of its citizens.
According to the resolution, a presidential form of government will introduce a unitary form of government, in which “the entire 1973 constitution will have to be rewritten”.
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The resolution “warned” that given “intra-provincial and federal-provincial polarization, internal political instability, regional situation and international attempts to colonize Pakistan, will make national consensus on a new constitution impossible”.
Opposition leader Yousuf Raza Gillani, Raza Rabbani, Sherry Rehman, Shafiq Tareen, Azam Tarar, Mushtaq Ahmed, Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Tahir Bizinjo and Hidayatullah Khan proposed this resolution which was opposed by members of the Treasury.
Presenting the resolution to the House, Senate Speaker Sadiq Sanjrani asked if she opposed it, to which House Leader Dr. Shahzad Waseem nodded in the affirmative.
Speaking, he urged the house not to pay attention to fake news and trends coming from social media. “This august house should not be trapped by false social media trends,” he said, opposing the opposition resolution.
“There should be fair and genuine intellectual debate on the floor of the house. Nothing is a divine document. This is why constitutional amendments are tabled in Parliament. But we must not fall victim to fake news and superficial social media trends,” he said.
“I want it to be categorically clear – right here on the floor of the house – that the government has nothing to do with this debate about the presidential system,” Waseem said.
“Democracies around the world have one or the other of two systems – presidential or parliamentary – some countries have these two systems – and countries like Turkey have moved from one system to another – whichever system that a country has to put in place requires consensus. And in Pakistan, the constitution is the consensual document that is the very foundation of our democracy. The constitution has put all its weight behind the parliamentary form of government,” the senator said. Pakistani Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
Referring to a speech given in the National Assembly by the late Benazir Bhutto when she was prime minister, Waseem quoted her as saying that the parliamentary form of government was not working in Pakistan.
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“That didn’t mean she was against the parliamentary form of government. There was a particular context in which she made this statement which was critical of the parliamentary system – so things have to be seen in the right context and the right perspective,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Senate passed another resolution proposed by PTI’s Zeeshan Khanzada.
“The Senate of Pakistan is aware of the importance of rail connectivity between neighboring countries for revenue generation, business promotion and tourism. The house recommends that the government take measures to run passenger/freight trains between Quetta and Zahidan to facilitate the movement of ziareen, tourists and business people from Pakistan to Iran and boost trade on the analogy of the freight service recently resumed from Pakistan to Turkey via Iran. “, we read in the resolution.
Another resolution jointly proposed by some Treasury and Opposition Senators was also passed by the Senate which recommended that parliamentarians accredited/appointed by foreign governments be appointed Honorary Consul General of that particular country in Pakistan “with a view to strengthening the existing people to the people”. contact and improve bilateral/multilateral relations…” Khanzada, Quratulain Marri, Seemee Ezdi, Faisal Rehman and Hidayatullah Khan jointly proposed this resolution.
The house is to meet again today (Tuesday).
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022